We Are Taking a Sabbatical to Focus on Recovery

This is not a decision taken lightly. I simply can’t do a good job with Retake (blog, radio show, Huddles, Zoom meetings with allies) and still devote the time needed for my recovery. What does this mean?

Roxanne and I have been discussing this since I got home from the hospital. At every turn I’ve resisted doing what is perfectly obvious needs to be done. In the interest of my personal health and Retake’s long-term capacity, I need to stop trying to do Retake work for awhile and focus on recovery.

Roxanne and I will continue to prepare for the 2022 legislative session, but very likely we will scale back, supporting and following no more than ten bills.

I am in discussions with KSFR about discontining doing radio shows for awhile and when I might be able to return doing the show regularly.

Blogs will be published infrequently, not necessarily responding to an urgent issue, as much as my capacity allows me to write about something important and to do so efficiently and well. In the event of a huge issue, vote, or hearing, we will at least publish a link to credible info andprovide info on how to take action. Otherwise, know that I will be focusing on recovery and rest. Roxanne may write a blog periodicallydically, but she, too, is focusing her time on helping me with my recovery.

My stroke has underscored a key structural flaw in Retake: its reliance upon Roxanne and I and the lack of a support structure, something that the creation of a 501c3 organization with funding for a small staff would begin to address. Roxanne will continue our application for 501c3 status. We will keep you posted as this advances.

Today I do want to offer up an article worthy of your time. Not a short read, but “Collapse, Renewal and the Rope of History” is a thoughtful, well-written piece, posing two important questions:

  • Is the world in free-fall collapse or on the verge of a great renewal? The author provides compelling evidence for either view before asking: Is it even possible to tell?
  • And he then asks: As relates to our personal actions, does answering that question even matter?

Please enjoy the piece and offer comment below.

As a parting suggestion, go to our home page once in awhile, use the search engine on the right and plug in any topic in which you are interested. Likely you will find a number of worthwhile reads.

On to recovery. I will really miss this. But it is necessary. For me and for us.

In solidarity, hope, and recovery,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Personal & Collective Action

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48 replies

  1. So glad to hear this. Taking care of yourselves is the most important thing to do right now. Be well, Paul.

  2. Paul, your recovery is your #1 priority!! Please take good care of yourself.

  3. I particularly note this: “This idea, of a ‘Great Turning’ existing side by side with a great collapse, is one we first came across in the work of ecological philosopher, Joanna Macy…”
    I’m glad they picked up on her work.

  4. Paul, your health is the most important issue at this time. I understand your reluctance to cut back but please don’t put anything before your health. You and Roxanne have done a wonderful job and we appreciate all your work but take all the time necessary for a full recovery.

    If you need volunteers to help with some of the work, during this time let me know, I am more than willing to volunteer to help anyway I can.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.


  5. Paul,
    Glad you are taking this step. Your health and well being must come first.
    Wish you the best in your recovery. Don’t rush it. Do whatever you need to for a full and lasting recovery.

  6. I’m glad you are putting recovery first. When fighting for the rights of all, it’s easy to lose sight of your own needs. It’s important to remember that you too deserve all the care you have fought to give to others.

  7. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, Paul, and hoping you’ll have a full recovery. This is way beyond a wakeup call that time is finite and we are human. You are clearly do the right, if very difficult, thing to halt all Retake work. Yes I miss it and you & Roxanne. But more than that I want you healthy and strong and relaxed. Love, Meg

  8. Sometimes you just have to take a step back. Thank you SO MUCH both for your incredibly diligent advocacy and organizing. Enjoy your well-deserved rest and enjoy your time together.

  9. ABSOLUTELY the right choice. (I also understand your resistance.)

  10. This seems like absolutely the right way to go. Your health comes first, above all.

    Carrie Vogel

  11. Roxanne and Paul, I am wishing you the best of luck as you focus on healing. You’ve taught many of us the skills we need to go forward with this good work. I will keep moving ahead doing my small part while you move through your recovery.

  12. It is a very hard lesson to learn that you sometimes need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anything else. You are doing the right thing!! Best wishes for your recovery and thank you for all that you do (including for the hard work of recovery you are undertaking!)

  13. I am so glad you are taking care of yourself Paul-you are such a valuable person in our struggle for justice, taking care of yourself is a committment to that cause.
    kathleen omalley

  14. It’s time to heal now and return to Retake when you’re ready. Blessings!

  15. Good ides to focus on your health.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  16. Excellent decision! You and Roxanne are not going away –– you are going to make a bit of a change and going to take care of yourselves, which is going to to help us all take stock — and your suggested reading is a winner! We are going to miss your regularity, but some people believe that the best re-enforcement of ideas often happens when we are somewhat erratic — I submit you both will be even more appreciated when we are not quite sure when we may be in touch. A refreshment of your comings and goings –– good for you both! Brava! and bravo!
    I repeat: you both are so very much a part of my political life, and I continue to be massively thankful for that! Plus, you are examples of real integrity and hard work, and you are sometimes funny, too! And to top it off: you probably aren’t perfect –– what a relief!
    I look forward to hearing from you both when I least expect it . . .

  17. I wish you all the best. and will look forward to your posts in the future. Thank you for all you do.
    Have a speedy recovery..

  18. Excellent decision. Your health and recovery must come first, Paul. We support you! Craig

  19. Get well, focus on your recovery, it’s the most important thing!

  20. Hi Paul and Roxanne — You don’t know me, but I’ve lurking here for some time, and just want to wish you–both of you–the very best as you recover. My heart is with you both.
    Much love, Kathy

  21. I’m proud of you, Paul, for taking this necessary and important step. Each of us needs to do what you’re doing—step back, assess our lives and actions, and then choose what’s most important. And we do this within Community. Happy Healing and much Love to you and Roxanne.

  22. Take care of yourself, Paul. You are such a valuable asset to this community. Wishing you a strong recovery

  23. You’re absolutely doing the right thing. Get well. Don’t come back until you’re truly ready.

    One of the best ways I find to destress is with the cooking show Country Life Vlog. From A village in Azerbaijan. On YouTube. Outdoor cooking based on their nomadic traditions.

    • we love cooking and food shows too. and dinner planning and prep are a formof recreatuionfor us and nowit is also a form of respite and rehab

  24. Thank you for all the years of dedication from both of you. May your recovery be the best. I enjoyed the article and felt both hopeless and hopeful. I just wish that this worldwide pandemic response was such that I could have believed the human species capable of pulling itself from the brink. Honestly, I do not believe humans are capable. Our extended family is pulling inward to deal with the PTSD of trump and COVID-19.

  25. A wise decision to take the time needed to repair and replenish. Best wishes to you both.

  26. This is very wise! You have given us so much. Time to give good care to yourselves and your recovery, Paul. Take good care, both of you.

  27. Most wise decision, though I know difficult. Love to both of you.

  28. Paul, very best of health and a speedy, full recovery to you. Your health is the most important thing, and you have an entire community sending love and best wishes. Take care, and let me know if you ever need any help with anything around town! Best, Carter

  29. Our best wishes on your recovery. We understand how important it is to take the time to do the work required for mending. You and Roxanne have helped all of us improve our critical thinking skills about so many issues. We will keep moving forward. Love and good wishes.

  30. Please recover swiftly Paul — New Mexico needs you both !

  31. All of the above. Best to you both.

  32. Paul, I know it’s hard to back off, but taking care of your health comes first. You and Roxanne have given so much and made such a difference. I thank you for all you’ve done — and will do in the future when the time is right. My friends, be well. Love, Janiece.

  33. good to see you two the other night! the offer stands! peace & love

  34. I know what a hard decision this has been for you – hard but completely necessary. Yes, the structural weakness at ROD was that you and Roxanne have been the driving force. Bless you for that. (Karl and I came to the realization that our being the driving force of NW Abq PAG was becoming unsustainable.) There will be more political battles to fight together, and we will all do our parts. Rest, recover, and rehab for now!

  35. Roxanne and Paul, you have made the right decision and I wish you well as you continue to recover.

  36. You both need the months to regain strength, to rebuild capacities. We’re with you now and we’ll be here when you know its time to recommence. Peace.

  37. Good decision for both of you.

  38. Paul and Roxanne, your work has been inspiring and we will look forward to seeing you back in action as soon as Paul has done what it takes to recover and return to us safe and sound and ready for action.

  39. Hi Paul. I encountered a heart attack 15 months ago, my own heart. I thought it was indigestion, then C19. No can do. The ER chief asked me what I was doing there, asking questions, giving info, talking about getting back to work cuz there were a million things pending.

    No, he said, I do not mean what are you doing here now, because people your age with the troponin number you have are already dead. The first night they put me in a hallway in an area that was labeled ‘pending outcome,’ which I thought to be quite ironic.

    Three stents later, after drilling out some hardened calcium, I was back at work the next day, after going into defib, then getting way too much fentanyl and hallucinating for about an hour, and having my diaphragm seize up because they had pierced it with blood thinners by mistake and it had swollen up so bad I could not take in enough air to stay conscious.

    I have been where you are, albeit different scenarios.

    Right now, I am very healthy, after taking quite a while to walk back from the edge of Light Speed. I now know that it is not about me, the Id, the Ego, the human face I present to the world.

    It is about my ability to immerse the self and the body, as one, into the infinite moment that never ceases. And that ability has nothing to do with the reflection of myself I think I see shimmering all around me.

    You, I, Roxanne and absolutely everybody else are ALWAYS immersed in the quantum field we label LIFE. It does not ‘end’ at death, or take a break if we are taken down a peg or two.

    I have often referred to the two of you as the Dynamic Duo, either Batman and Robin, or Bonnie and Clyde.

    Right now, you get to chose. Immersion, not strategy.

    Mick Nickel

  40. So glad to near that you are putting yourself & Roxanne first in this challenging situation. You have both given so much to make Retake a respected, vital, valuable organization, & now it is time for others to step up if possible, & you can do the work of healing.
    All the best to you both,

  41. A lesson learned from years of activism—listen to your mind/body before you totally burn out. This is your call to rest and work to heal so you can rejoin the fray. We will be here when you can come back in, no matter how that looks then. With great appreciation and love for you both.

  42. Surely a very difficult,necessary and courageous decision. Take time for yourselves now to adjust, heal from your trauma and know that you are valued, supported and loved even when you rest and relearn. Trust that others will pick up the challenge and continue our revolution and reclamation
    With your wonderful example and template. Pamela

  43. Best wishes for a complete and splendid recovery!

  44. All of the above. The combined talent, brains, and soul of both of you have created a “meeting place”, and an evolving strategy that many have learned from and can continue in our own ways as you take ALL the time needed for deep healing. We are grateful for all that has been accomplished, for the inspiration to be more, and to keep on. When the time is right, your return will be full of many meaningful evolutions being born out of this big experience. Gracias for all, and your own wise version of full steam ahead.

  45. Paul and Roxanne, I want to echo what almost everyone else is saying: I miss working with both of you on a regular basis, but I am glad you are focusing on your healing. As my grandmother (from the “old country”) used to say, “That’s the main important.” I’m starting to focus on my own healing (my back; I will start aquatic therapy soon) and also need to scale back my efforts at this time. But I am slowly working toward my Rethink goal of getting a draft of the policy brief on Reining in Corporate Power. I’m slowly but gradually reading “Levers of Power”, and after I’m done with that, I’ll try to get hold of a paperback copy of “Less is More.” We’ll all get there — more slowly but more healthfully. I look forward to continued good new about your recovery. Healing vibes to both of you and to our society.

  46. I’m so relieved to hear you have made this decision. Hopefully, your recovery will be speedy and you and Roxanne will find some delightful as well as restful moments along the way. Much love to you both!

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